Sun protection for children

Children should not be getting sunburnt at any age, especially since there are a range of very effective sun protection methods that can be used.

Parents and guardians need to be extra vigilant about sun protection for their infants and toddlers at all times. Many parents do not know the best ways to protect their young children from the harmful rays of the sun.

Infants under six months should be kept out of the sun. Special care should be taken from 10am until 3pm when the UV radiation of the sun is at its most intense.

Application of sunscreen, for infants under six months, should also be avoided. Sunscreen is recommended for children and adults.

Babies’ skin is less mature compared to that of older children and adults. Infants also have a higher surface-area to body-weight ratio compared to older children and adults.

Both these factors mean that an infant’s exposure to the chemicals in sunscreen may be much greater, increasing the risk of side effects.

Liberal amounts of sunscreen should be applied for babies of six months or older before they are allowed out in the sun for short periods of time.

However, avoid exposing babies to the sun during peak hours and dress the baby in protective clothing, a hat with a brim and sunglasses.

Make sure to plan daily activities that ensure that toddlers are well protected from the sun.

Aim to minimise time spent outside during the middle of the day during summer when UV levels are at their strongest. This is usually between 10am and 3pm.

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